Unruly Crowds at <i>Sivaji</i> screening cause cinema to close for a week

Unruly Crowds at Sivaji screening cause cinema to close for a week

15 Jun – Crowds at two cinemas screening Tamil blockbuster Sivaji The Boss turned ugly last night, damaging property and breaking glass screens over ticket sales and projection problems.

Blood (?) on Sri Intan Cinema steps
As a result, Lotus Five Star's Panggung Sri Intan in Klang is closed for a week, presumably for repairs to the damage allegedly caused by patrons who turned unruly when they were told that the screening of Sivaji last night was cancelled.

Cinema manager Kalatharan told Cinema Online that those who bought the tickets to the 9pm and midnight shows yesterday would get their refunds. "The cinema will be closed for a week for repairs," he said. It is learnt that the screenings were cancelled due to problems with its digital projection system and when the fans were told about it about 9pm, "they went wild".

Cinema Online visited Sri Intan today and saw workers cleaning up the premises. We also found what looked like a pool of dried blood on the steps of the cinema entrance. The management would not elaborate on last night's fracas or whether a police report had been made.
Notice spotted at Sri Intan Cinema informing patrons about the refund Closure notice at Sri Intan Cinema
At the Coliseum Cinema in KL, which reopened yesterday with the screening of Sivaji, fans turned unruly when they discovered that they could not get tickets to the 9pm and midnight shows. They accused the management of fraud, selling tickets to ticket-touting spivs. Cinema Online visited the Coliseum this afternoon and found the glass screen for the ticket counter shattered, presumably by the frustrated crowd.

It is also learnt that police from Dang Wangi station and a Light Strike Force unit was called in to control the crowd at Coliseum which spilled onto the streets and caused traffic congestion.

According to Coliseum cinema manager Sopie Babu, many fans who were queueing up since 8am found themselves without tickets shortly after counters opened at 4.45pm. This led to accusations of selling tickets to ticket-touting spivs. However, Sopie denied the allegations, saying that "police were called in very early in the day because we knew there would be some trouble as soon as we saw that queues started forming at 8 am. As for black market tickets, these are things of the past when gangsters ruled. This is no longer the case. We limited the ticket sales to 10 per queueing customer."

The cracked glass at the Coliseum ticket counter
Last night's fiasco left a cracked glass screen of the ticket counter and a damaged corridor shutter. Mr. Zaheer, a roti-canai maker from Section 17, Petaling Jaya, told Cinema Online that he avoided yesterday's ticket rush because he knew that trouble was inevitable. "It's a Rajnikanth movie so I knew it would be crazy. I have to go to Singapore tonight so I came today to catch the 3pm show because I know that that's one of the only slots which I can get tickets for," he said.

At the State cinema in PJ, screening was also halted when the digital projection system encountered problems. However, there were no reports of any incident and the patrons settled for ticket refunds.

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